We know a lot of people experience anxiety at the thought of attending their dental surgery. Don’t worry, we don’t take it personally. Of course, we know that very few people are afraid of the actual dentist, it’s the vulnerability and the fear of the possibility of pain that frightens most people. But we want you to be as relaxed about your next trip to the dentist as possible, so here are our top reasons why you shouldn’t be scared of your dentist, your dental surgery and why you shouldn’t skip your next appointment.
1. Dentists are awesome. No really, we can back that up. According to Dentalorg.com, “dental surgeons are very compassionate and kind people.” The same source suggests that people with a natural inclination towards helping people are attracted to the dental career and that dentists are predominantly easy-going, calm people. See, we are pretty nice people on the whole. We’re the opposite of scary.
2. Dentists only want to help. The truth is that no one actively enjoys rooting around in other people’s mouths all day. Well, no one we know, anyway. So, someone who has committed years of their life to the study of teeth and is prepared for decades to come of seeing tooth decay and dealing with bad breath, they’d have to be damn sure they’d get something out of it. What do we dentists get out of our work? We get to help people. We’re not out to cause anyone pain. We only want to heal and soothe.
Remember that you only have to deal with your own dental issues, we have to deal with everyone’s, so you can be sure that we are committed to being helpful in our jobs and to do no harm, otherwise no one would do it. Whatever you think we get paid, it’s not nearly enough to deal with all the gross parts of dental practice without the satisfaction of feeling that you helped someone that day.
3. Dentists aren’t scary. Imagine that two people met at a party and through polite conversation it becomes known that one of them is a dentist. Never in the history of small talk has the other person screamed out loud and fled from the room. That’s because dentists aren’t scary. We don’t look scary, we look just like normal people, because that’s what we are. However, for some reason, when we are in our uniform, our PPE and our masks, we suddenly become the plaque police in your eyes ready with a stern ticking-off and a rap on the knuckles for not flossing.
The truth is, we’re not here to judge you, we only want to help you feel good about yourself and to be without pain. You wouldn’t be afraid to sit next to us on the bus in our normal clothes, so there’s no need to be intimidated by us at our workplace. We don’t bite. If anything, we’re the ones getting bitten!
4. Dentists don’t want you to have treatments. There’s no getting around it, some dental treatments aren’t too pleasant and that’s what many people are afraid of when they visit their dentist. They’re afraid that a routine dental health check could unearth some bad news that will lead to a painful procedure. The NHS Adult Dental Survey in 2009 unearthed that “30 per cent of adults said that having a tooth drilled would make them very or extremely anxious and 28 per cent reported similar levels of anxiety about having a local anaesthetic injection.” We don’t want that for you. Modern dentistry is centred around the concept that preventative care is the best treatment, which is why attending regular dental health checks and hygienist visits are so important, but according to the Oral Health Foundation, “more than a quarter of adults only visit the dentist when they have a problem”. Of course, sometimes further dental treatments are required after a dental health check, but seriously, we only want you to have a healthy, beautiful smile that you can be proud of.
Actually, you are more likely to need dental treatments such as fillings, root canal or dental implants if you don’t attend dental health checks regularly. That’s because it’s better to catch dental problems early and to implement a course of preventative treatment than to let it worsen and need a more invasive solution. This means that not going to the dentist can create a self-fulfilling prophecy. That the less you go to the dentist for dental health checks, the more you may have to go later on to have uncomfortable treatments as serious oral problems worsen. It’s best not to let a fear of the dentist cause you to have a foundation for those same worries.
A 2009 NHS study claims that as many as “twelve per cent of adults who had ever been to a dentist had an MDAS (Modified Dental Anxiety Scale) score of 19 or more which suggests extreme dental anxiety.” That’s so sad, to think that so many grown humans are afraid of something that can only do them good. We doubt as many people are phobic about eating their greens, but by all means, correct us if we are wrong.
We just hope that this post can alleviate any worry you may feel about visiting the dentist. We encourage you not to let a fear of routine appointments result in your having to visit us even more often in the future for less gentle treatments. Prevention is power when it comes to dental health and we really believe that here at Kennett Road Dental Practice.